Last week was my first foray into the world of book publishing. My first book, a work of non-fiction, is called Cover Up. It chronicles five of the world’s biggest unsolved crime stories. I am talking about the death of Princess Diana, the premature and untimely death of Pope John Paul I, the death of former US Secretary for Commerce Ron Brown, the Arrow Air plane crash in Gander, Canada and the assassination of the Rwandan President which triggered a genocide that killed one million people. This book is a very serious re-investigation of these cases. I deconstruct each of the five official investigation reports in a very methodical and meticulous manner to determine an important question. Are the findings in each of the cases supported by the facts? I won’t say what I discovered because I want you to read the book. What I will say is that my book is testament to the belief that facts can be so much stranger than fiction. The book is available on Amazon and I would urge you to read it and let me know what you think. But this post is not just a shameless plug for my book.
I want to share a discovery that I made. Some new information about the death of Princess Diana that came to me after I had written and published my book.
This is not another wild, conspiracy theory. It is relevant and, I think, important information.
Now, I am just going to present it and let you decide on the answers to these two questions: Is there something substantial in this new information that I am sharing here? And, more importantly, what should be done with this information?
So let’s begin.
In the last eight or so months there was a court case in the United Kingdom involving a former Special Air Service soldier called Danny Nightingale, who was facing charges of illegally possessing a pistol and 338 rounds of ammunition. Police found the weapons in a rented house that Nightingale was sharing with another SAS serviceman known as soldier N. Authorities have never named soldier N for security reasons.
What is very clear about this case is that the Police were acting on a tipoff. It turns out the information they received about the firearms cache came from the estranged wife of soldier N.
But here’s where it gets very interesting. Information about the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition was not the only piece of information that soldier N’s wife told police.
She said her husband had confided in her, ironically after he had taken Princess Diana’s eldest son Prince William on an advanced driver’s course in 2008. This was clearly one of the jobs performed by serving members of the British SAS as protection for the Royal family. The face-to-face encounter that soldier N had with the Prince was enough to prick his conscience to the extent that he felt compelled to tell his wife what he knew about the death of Princess Diana.
During the police interview, the wife of soldier N recounted the information that was relayed to her. In the course of conversation she said she told her husband how wonderful it was that the Princes, William and Harry, were doing so well and it was a shame that their mother wasn’t alive to see it. Her husband, soldier N then told her one of his SAS colleagues had caused the collision in the Alma tunnel. She said he told her it was done in a tunnel to guarantee a fatal outcome, that people had been monitoring Dodi and Diana and that a bright light was shone in Henri Paul’s eyes to cause the collision with the concrete pylon.
Soldier N told his wife the hit had been carried out by SAS soldiers riding motorcycles. What is also interesting is that this conversation occurred two years before the breakdown of their marriage.
Clearly, these claims need to be treated with a deal of caution because they were coming from someone who was an aggrieved party in an acrimonious marriage breakup. People in that situation have been known to say and do anything to get back at a partner.
But what elevates her story beyond what a scorned woman might say, is that her version has been corroborated by a number of independent witnesses. People driving in the tunnel, who saw the collision involving Princess Diana’s Mercedes, also said they saw the bright light before the crash. One of the eye-witnesses was travelling in a taxi behind the Princess’s Mercedes when the crash occurred. He was in the perfect position to see everything. He spoke of the blinding, bright light.
It was also corroborated by one other very important witness, former MI 6 spy Richard Tomlinson. He told British investigators about a conversation he had with an MI 6 colleague who he said showed him a paper that outlined a plan to assassinate Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, that looked very much like what happened in the Alma tunnel. The plan involved making an attempt on Milosevic’s life when he was driving in a tunnel and using a strobe light to blind his driver causing a fatal crash. Tomlinson said he had been told by members of the SAS that the technique was called lamping. High density beams called Dazzler lasers are shone into the eyes of a target causing a road accident.
Again we should treat this information carefully. It should be disclosed that Tomlinson is an unreliable witness. He has changed his version of events in relation to other matters many times. But what makes his evidence compelling in relation to this was the fact that a large part of it was actually corroborated by British Operation Paget investigators and was included in the one thousand page Operation Paget report which investigated the Alma tunnel crash. They found and interviewed the MI 6 operative who gave Tomlinson the information. But they don’t ever name him. As you might expect, what he told British investigators was a mixture of confirmation of some points and denial on others. What is truly remarkable is that he confirmed that he wrote the position paper that talked of a planned assassination. But the MI 6 agent denied that Milosevic was the target. In fact he told British investigators, the paper had referred to another un-named person who would be targeted for assassination. He also denied that the assassination attempt would have involved the use of a strobe light to cause a fatal collision. But clearly what he told British investigators was confirmation that MI 6 was prepared to use assassination as a way of solving a political problem.
But I have now received new information that moves this story on quite a bit. The British Secret Service’s license to kill isn’t just the fertile imagination of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond. It is real and it exists. It was confirmed in evidence given by a former head of MI 6 at the Coroner’s inquest in London. It is called a class 7 authorisation and it has to be approved by the British Foreign Secretary. But the circumstances where a Government sanctioned class 7 assassination can be undertaken is less than clear cut. it comes down to discretion and interpretation.
So, if MI 6 had the power to authorise a hit, is that what really happened to the Princess, Dodi Al Fayed and Henri Paul?
It turns out that while former MI 6 agent, Richard Tomlinson, gave information to British Operation Paget investigators, he gave far more detail to the French.
Tomlinson swore an affidavit to French Investigating judge Herve Stephan. Tomlinson says in the affidavit he is certain that Henri Paul was a paid informant for British intelligence. He also talks of a senior MI 6 officer, Richard David Spearman, being posted to Paris in the month before the Alma tunnel crash. But most importantly, Tomlinson gives further and better particulars about the assassination scenario he discussed with his MI 6 colleague. He also names the colleague as Doctor Nicholas Bernard Frank Fishwick ,who he describes as an MI 6 officer in charge of planning Balkan operations. Tomlinson again repeats his assertion that the plan related to Slobodan Milosevic and that the plan was fully typed and attached to a yellow minute board. This small detail might appear inconsequential, but Tomlinson says it signified that it was a formal and accountable document.
In the affidavit, Tomlinson also details the names of the MI 6 agents who would receive the document. Tomlinson then goes on to name names to again show the credibility of the paper. It was received by the head of MI 6 Balkan Operations Maurice Kendrick-Piercey, the MI 6 security officer for Balkan operations, John Ridde, the SAS liaison officer to MI 6 who Tomlinson doesn’t name, the head of MI 6’s Eastern European Controllerate, Richard Fletcher and the personal secretary to the then Chief of MI 6, Alan Petty.
In his affidavit, Tomlinson says the Fishwick document gives a political justification for assassinating Milosevic and then details three possible scenarios. The third scenario suggested that Milosevic be assassinated by causing his personal limousine to crash. Tomlinson says in his affidavit that Fishwick proposed to arrange the crash in a tunnel because the proximity of concrete close to the road would ensure the crash was violent enough to cause death or serious injury. it would also reduce the possibility of independent, casual witnesses. He said Fishwick suggested one way to cause the crash might be to disorientate the chauffeur using a strobe flash gun which is occasionally deployed by special forces against a helicopter pilot or terrorists. Tomlinson says MI 6 officers are briefed about this during their training. In his affidavit, Tomlinson also discloses that one of the paparazzi photographers who routinely followed the Princess of Wales was a member of what he described as UKN, a small group of part-time MI 6 agents who provide miscellaneous services to British intelligence including surveillance and photography.
In his affidavit Tomlinson also says that after he disclosed this information to the French investigating Judge, MI 6, the CIA and French Intelligence took steps aimed at preventing him from making any further disclosures. He says French intelligence arrested him at gunpoint inside his room at a Paris hotel, cracking one of his ribs in the process. Tomlinson says he was interrogated for 38 hours but was never shown an arrest warrant or given any kind of justification for his arrest. His laptop and his electronic planner were confiscated and given to MI 6 who took them back to the UK. Tomlinson says it took six months for his property to be returned to him. He also says when he travelled to the United States to be interviewed by NBC he was arrested by immigration officials as soon as the plane landed and served with deportation orders. He says immigration officials told him they were acting on the instructions of the CIA.
All of this might go some of the way in explaining why Tomlinson seems to have trouble sticking to a particular story but it is a question only he could answer.
Which brings me back to my original proposition and the two questions I asked. Is there something substantial in these revelations? and, if there is, what should be done with the information?